The second race of the SB20 Ranking Regatta series took place last weekend, the event was hosted by Grand Harbour Marina. The race saw six SB20, one design boats, battling it out for precious ranking points.
Photo Courtesy : Joe Morana
A fresh North Westerly wind and a choppy sea state greeted the sailors as they approached the race area just off Sliema. The Race Officer for the weekend, Luca Lacitignola, was assisted by Emma Cassar of Grand Harbour Marina. They were quick to set the race course and the fleet were soon fighting for positions on the start line to take an early advantage.
The shifty wind conditions gave the sailors plenty of options across the race course and often saw boats splitting away from each other on the upwind leg but the fleet would compress again for some competitive mark roundings.
This was the first outing for Barry & Catherine Hurley in their new boat Careful Now. It did not take them long to find good pace as they crossed the finish line in style to win the first race of the weekend. They were closely followed by John Horn’s Orange Marine -, while third place went to Adrian Gauci Borda’s Maltese Musketeer.
Careful Now was quickly setting the standard for the day as the team secured another victory in Race Two ahead of Brian Flahive’s Prolink, whilst third place went to Robert Ciantar’s Seriously Bonkers.
Race three saw several lead changes as the boats made their way up the first beat, but once again it was Careful Now out in front as the fleet headed downwind for a fast spinnaker blast. The leeward mark rounding saw some interesting tactics which caused a few boats to come together and end up with a trip to the protest room! This allowed Careful Now and Prolink to break away from the bunch and change positions as they headed upwind for the final beat of the day. Despite rounding the windward mark in the lead, Prolink was unable to hold off the fast, downwind pace of Careful Now as they slipped through to take yet another race win by the narrowest of margins. Third place was awarded to Seriously Bonkers.
The second day brought an increase in wind speed and wave height but this did not deter the fleet from pushing hard. The Race Committee team of Nick Portelli and Simon Grech had to battle the conditions to lay the race marks, but it was a job well done. The stronger winds allowed for race photographer Joe Morana to catch some high speed action shots.
Ray Condachi, skippering the Grand Harbour Marina team boat got the best start in Race Four but unfortunately the increasing conditions would cause some equipment failure. Seriously Bonkers were the first team to fall victim to the conditions as their event came to a premature end. The run of good luck came to an end for Careful Now as they too suffered equipment failure and were unable to push with the same pace as the previous day. Orange Marine took the win in race 4 with Prolink gaining yet another second place with Maltese Musketeers in third.
The Prolink team took an early lead in Race five and managed to secure the race win. The Final race for the event was dominated by Gauci Borda’s Maltese Musketeers, while Prolink came home in second place and Orange Marine grabbed the final podium position.
Consistent race results over the two days allowed the Prolink team of Brian Flahive, Jose Souto, Matt and Alan Tabone to take the overall victory. Orange Marine took second place and they were closely followed in third overall by Maltese Musketeers.
The post-race social gathering was hosted by Grand Harbour Marina and brought an end to a very well organised and enjoyable event.
The SB20 Malta Association is grateful for the support of Grand Harbour Marina, Royal Malta Yacht Club, Camilleri Maria and Orange Marine.
The Third race of the SB20 Ranking Regatta Series will take place on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd November.
SB20 Ranking Events – Overall Ranking after Race 2